The Presumption of Innocence

Shadows over Paris. The difficulties between the will to help and the fear to be exposed.

How would you like to be remembered 50 years from now? As a generation of scared and selfish people who closed their doors and looked down while others were in desperate need of help? Or would you rather be the people who shared hope by integrating new people in your own societies and provide an image of a multicultural future? Picture yourself running from your home and having to leave everything that you knew behind. How would you feel to be hated and despised by the very people that should be human enough to help you? But don’t mistake us for being naive or ignorant, we know that the political instability in the Middle East and the bombings claimed by the IS in the West are affecting the whole perspective on the matter, making it even harder for the refugees to be welcomed here. But is it moral not to give them the presumption of innocence? Is it moral to believe that all these people are here to destroy the western stability? As a result of these fears, governments have started to apply their own interpretation of the Schengen rules. Some have closed their borders, some have drastically increased their security and in some countries where the far-right movements against immigrants are growing in visibility these restrictions could go even further. France is such an example; reported that the French far-right leader Marine LePen has declared that he fears the possibility that jihadists can travel along with the refugees, so he asked for an „immediate halt” for all refugees coming to Europe. This was as a result of the bombings that happened 2 weeks ago.

The bombings in Paris could be seen as a very strategic way of propaganda from the Islamic State. Even though they were justified as an act of revenge for killing one of their leaders, the bombings might have an even deeper purpose. With these acts of terror, the IS has grown its visibility throughout the world at a very fast pace in the last weeks – this resulting in a higher enrolling number by young muslims. While we are trying to debate whether we should send more air-drones or U.S. aircrafts in Syria, the IS is gaining more recruits from all over the world thanks to the focus from mass-media. So maybe we should reconsider closing our borders and change our tactics. Maybe we should welcome the refugees and convince them not the adopt these extremist beliefs while we can all try to integrate them and economically grow together. This is a very ideal and naive idea, but our point is that we shouldn’t fight a war only with guns, but with strategy and global communication. So, reducing the popularity of the IS, we are also reducing their funding and their incomes. We should attack not only the leaders of the Islamic State and its allies, but their resources. This could slowly diminish their spread, also decreasing the number of their new recruits. The situation is still unstable, though, because we can’t really see an ending to the syrian civil war in the near future. The evergrowing number of refugees in Europe might cause disruption between the EU states and this is another situation we want to avoid. At the end of the day, we should think about being more tolerant and consider the repercussions of our actions; if we refuse their liberty, their rights and their opportunity to integrate we might influence their values and beliefs in a most negative way. Humanity should define us nowadays, not to be all the same but to be all tolerant to each other’ethnitcity, political views and religion.

Written by Alexandra & Andrada

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